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  • Olla condoms’ social media marketing campaign: creepy or innovative?

    Olla Condoms has launched a new social media marketing campaign, conceptualised by advertising agency Age Isobar. Whether you think it's creepy or innovative, it is definitely one to remember. Looking to create awareness around unplanned pregnancies and its product, Olla -- probably breaking every rule Facebook has regarding marketing on the social network -- “targeted” a number of young men on Facebook, created Facebook profiles and sent them friend requests. The twist to the campaign was that the friend requests these men received, were from their still-to-born "sons". The company took the names of the young men and tacked...

  • Can YaCy be the new Google?

    When Google was a mere babe among search giants like Yahoo, AltaVista, Lycos and WebCrawler, geeks across the world promoted its use thanks to its cleaner interface and the fact that it focussed only on the task at hand. In many ways, Google owes a lot of its success to IT professionals who quickly introduced it to the less IT-savvy as a less cluttered interface to finding the things they were looking for. Times have changed. Google's rise to world dominance in the search market, its advertising-oriented business model and its history of collecting user data are slowly pushing...

  • Five things you should know about intellectual copyright and online sharing

    Rewind to 1999. Napster, the first major peer-to-peer networks is launched. Its goal? To allow internet users the facility to share and distribute music files freely to hundreds of thousands of network users. It wasn’t long, however, before record companies began to cry foul, citing that the network was aiding piracy and infringing on the copyright of music artists. Napster, or at least its first incarnation, was eventually shutdown in 2001 and overall, online sharing was considered by many corporations and intellectual property (IP) activists, at the time, to be a major threat to IP rights. Fast forward to today....

  • Facebook finally settles its two-year battle with the FTC

    Facebook has finally come to an agreement with the United States government over charges of misinformation around users’ privacy agreements. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), accused the world's largest social network of a series of complaints over its inability to fullfil its agreement with users. The charges were lodged in December 2009 by privacy groups who claimed that Facebook engaged in a deceptive behaviour when changing its privacy settings. The groups are against settings which make aspects of a user’s profile — such as their name, picture, gender and list of friends — public by default. The complaints also include...

  • Resolving the relationship between bloggers and brands

    When we think of bloggers, and this is especially true for large corporates, we tend to get the image of a bunny loving computer geek, typing away at their computers to a few followers who hang on their every word. But there is another side to bloggers: A side that lurks below the surface and has been exposed a few times to unwitting companies who have "done them in". Bloggers are business people too. What is the purpose of a blogger? I realise there is some irony in the fact that I am writing this article as a blogger, on a...

  • Samsung wins Australian round of legal battle against Apple

    Samsung has won the latest round in its epic legal war with rival tech giant Apple. An Australian court upheld the South Korean giant’s appeal against a temporary ban on sales of its Galaxy 10.1 tablet device. The ban was put in place after a ruling that Samsung had violated several of Apple’s patents in the manufacture of the device. The war between the two has spanned the globe, with suit following countersuit in Switzerland, The Netherlands, Germany, and the USA. The German ban saw Samsung claiming that it had modified the Galaxy 10.1 in order avoid the copyright breach....

  • Mobile Fusion: BlackBerry’s latest move in comeback campaign

    Facing stalling sales and still recovering from the public relations nightmare which was the global BlackBerry services blackout, beleaguered smartphone manufacturer, Research In Motion (RIM) has announced a new business service which, in a first, will also support rival hardware. BlackBerry Mobile Fusion, a new software platform, is currently in closed beta testing and will -- along with BlackBerry smartphones and PlayBook tablets -- allow for the management of Android and iOS phones and tablets. The company promises Mobile Fusion will make life easier for its business and government customers. BlackBerry is famous for its business-centric BlackBerry Enterprise Service. Mobile Fusion...

  • WordPress lets bloggers make money with WordAds

    One of the world’s foremost blogging platforms and content management systems, WordPress, is now allowing bloggers to make money via online advertising. The programme, called WordAds, has been developed in conjunction with advertising and publishing company, Federated Media. According to a statement by WordPress' parent company Automattic, the company says the decision to introduce WordAds was based, at least partially, on pressure from WordPress.com users. Speaking to Memeburn, WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg confirmed this, saying that the main driver behind WordAds was the fact that "since WordPress.com was started, six years ago, advertising has been our #1 feature request". "We...

  • UK woman arrested for racist rant posted on YouTube

    A video posted on YouTube of a woman on a packed South London tram spouting off racist and xenophobic statements has, in four days, garnered more than two-million views, and resulted in the arrest of the woman in question. The video was widely shared in the UK, resulting in the top Twitter trending topic #MyTramExperience, has widely been denounced as one of the most deplorable instances of racist attitudes in the UK being captured on camera. The video, seemingly filmed surreptitiously, captures the women who has been identified as 34-year old Emma West making comments which have been described as "disgusting...

  • DJ Fresh comes under fire for ‘suicide tweet’

    South African radio personality, DJ Fresh, has come under fire on Twitter after he tweeted about someone he knew wanting to commit suicide. In the tweet that sparked the controversy, Fresh referred to a message from the person in question saying they had just tried to kill themselves, asking if it would be “wrong” to “send them 5 ways that will work”. The tweet attracted the attention of support organisation, the South African Depression and Anxiety Group(SADAG). The group replied to Fresh's initial tweet, expressing their disappointment in it. They went on to note that their sense of disappointment...

  • United Nations hacked, email addresses and passwords leaked

    The United Nations has been hacked and its user emails and passwords have been posted on web-sharing application PasteBin for all to see. The global organisation positions itself as a facilitator between nations for cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace. The hacker group who breached the organisation's security calls itself Team Poison and believes that the United Nations is a "Senate for Global Corruption". This attack, which was announced through the group's Twitter account, fits Team Poison's usual Modus Operandi. The group , for instance, targeted BlackBerry's blog ...

  • Is Nando’s ‘Last Dictator Standing’ the new ‘Old Spice Guy’?

    I've been watching the Nando’s Meal for 6 campaign with interest ever since it broke. The wickedly funny ad featuring Robert Mugabe and his happy memories of good times with fellow dictators (including PW Botha) is racking up the kind of international attention unheard of for South African ad campaigns. Already it appears to enjoy the kind of cult appeal typically associated with the Old Spice campaigns of this world. This is one of the best examples I've seen yet of a social media campaign built around a specific piece of content, specifically a TV ad. Here's why --...

  • Tablets by the numbers: No slowdown in sight

    Steve Jobs unveiled the iPad on 27 January 2010, which happened to be the day my mother turned 88. Back in 1922, the year she was born, sales of the Model T Ford had begun slowing down after it had dominated the market for more than 13 years. Some analysts of the time suggested the plateauing of sales meant the automobile was a passing fad, and the cheaper and more familiar horse-drawn carriage would make a comeback, restoring the transport industry to the previous supposed normality. The tablet hasn't had its own Model T moment yet, but be sure it...

  • Review: Samsung NC215 sun-lovin’ netbook

    Save the planet, have infinite battery life, and look good while you're at it. Samsung has produced a 10” netbook with a big ol’ solar panel on the back to let you work and work and work and work. It’s got “green” written all over the promotional flyers, and “green” written into every line of code of the Eco Mode app that lets you be really rather green. Getting back down to earth, it’s a US$400 netbook with a really, really long battery life that looks quite good. It’s a bit of an odd product – it’s been out in...

  • CNN International unveils ‘Ecosphere’ of tweets for COP17

    CNN International, one of the world's largest news organisations has released an interactive visualisation tracking Twitter traffic around the 17th UN World Climate Summit, being held in South Africa. The visualisation takes the shape of a manipulatable globe, and features trees sprouting from it, each representing a different point of discussion at the conference being tweeted on. The so called "Ecosphere" will also be projected in the form of a hologram at the actual conference, giving delegates an insight “in real time to what the global Twitter community think about the themes being discussed at the summit”. According to...